Wilhelmshaven ideal for German LNG import terminal, study says

A study conducted by a group of German companies shows that Wilhelmshaven is the ideal location for an LNG import terminal.

“Wilhelmshaven is best suited to constructing an LNG import terminal due to its geographical location, the nautical conditions and the gas grid connection, including the cavern capacities,” explains John Niemann, president of the Wilhelmshaven Port Industry Association.

Especially an LNG terminal based on the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) technology would enable an economically attractive and competitive service through low investment costs and fast construction times.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is growing in importance as a long-term option as a fuel for ships and heavy goods traffic, the study says.

The decline in deliveries from domestic production and from traditional supplier countries could lead to a natural gas supply shortfall by 2028, leading to an increasing monopolization of the remaining suppliers, according to Christoph Merkel, managing director of Merkel Energy, who carried out the study together with CPL, NAUTITEC, Norconsult and GasplanFasold.

This means that increasing risks to the competitiveness of natural gas, security of supply and the German natural gas trading market cannot be ruled out.

“As an industrialized country and a major player in world trade, Germany should be an importing country for LNG,” says Felix Jahn, managing director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for transport, ports and shipping.

“There are already 36 countries worldwide that are LNG importers and their number is growing rapidly. The EU Commission urges its member states to create LNG import terminals to diversify their supply,” Jahn said.

Katja Baumann, managing director of MARIKO from Leer, points out that such a terminal would also serve to supply the increasing number of LNG-driven ships in Germany.

According to Heiko Wenzel, managing partner of CPL, the proportion of port calls by cargo ships operated with LNG is steadily increasing at the examined locations until 2030. Overall, demand increases to approx. 176.000 tons LNG per year.

The largest amount of fuel will be handled by bunker ships, this corresponds to about three quarters with individual requirements of more than 500 tons of fuel.

However, most bunkering operations will take place in the segment up to 200 tons as truck-to-ship-bunkering.

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